Department Chair Welcome

Sarah Strand 1286x1800 214x300 - Department Chair Welcome
Sarah Strand, Ph.D., ATC, Health and Human Sciences Department Chair

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  The semesters seem to be going by faster and faster.  I took over as Department Chair from Jim Landry in May and haven’t had much time to breathe since!  I want to extend a BIG THANK YOU to Jim for his selfless dedication to our Department, Seaver College, and LMU over these past three years.  Without hesitation he stepped up and took the reigns as Chair three years ago and led us through a growth period that will see an increase of three faculty members, our first program review, and continued growth in students in the major. THANK YOU JIM!!

We had a great fall semester.  We welcomed Chris Cappelli to the Department and he has done a great job teaching one of our lower division Personal Health courses as well as our upper division Public Health course.  His biography is included in the newsletter or can be accessed here.  A big thank you to Hawley Almstedt who chaired our search committee this fall as we were looking to add another faculty member with clinical skills to our faculty.  We will share the results when the process is finalized.

This past summer Todd Shoepe taught the Seaver College study abroad group in Bonn, Germany followed by a sabbatical this semester. With Todd’s absence this semester and the faculty search taking place we were able to hire two visiting faculty members to support us this academic year.  We have Jacqueline Pal, MD with us teaching our Anatomy and Physiology courses and coordinating the lab activities and Stephanie Beaudion moved from Lab Associate to visiting faculty member teaching a variety of assessment and rehabilitation classes and various lab sections.  Both bring great knowledge and experience to the Department.

We’re in the middle of our first Academic Program Review as the Department of Health and Human Sciences.  We’re hoping to have external reviewers coming in early next year to examine what we teach, how we teach it, and the administration of our program, and then complete the process by the middle of next year.  A big thanks to Todd Shoepe, Heather Tarleton, and Bill McCormack for leading the Department in this endeavor.

In October we had a successful Open House welcoming prospective students and parents to campus.  Our major continues to attract incredible students looking to pursue careers in Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Physician Assistant, Athletic Training, Medicine, Dentistry, Nutrition, and Exercise Science.  This year we have seen an increase in current LMU students requesting a change of majors to Health and Human Sciences.  We actually will offer our first-year course, Medical Terminology and Seminar this spring for the first time (and the section is full). This is usually a fall only course for incoming freshmen.  It is encouraging that the major is popular among prospective students as well as those already here that are looking for a path toward a career in the Allied Health Fields and medicine.

We’re looking forward to an outstanding spring semester, preparing the class of 2020 for life after LMU!  Keep sending us your updates on what is happening in your lives.  Please stop by if you are in the area and visit!  Should you be interested to learn of ways to financially support the Department of Health and Human Sciences, please contact Lynn Witherspoon, Director of Development (; 310 338-7856).  If you have any questions or want further information about the department, please do not hesitate to contact us at (310) 338-7885 or via email at

Best Regards,

Sarah Strand, Ph.D., ATC
Department Chair
Health and Human Sciences